India seeks $99 million in Nestlé damages

The Indian government has filed a class action suit for $99 million against Nestlé’s Indian unit on behalf of the country’s consumers after the country’s worst packaged food scare in a decade.

Nestle, the first foreign firm in India to face such a damages claim, is suffering a public relations crisis, after a regulator in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh found monosodium glutamate (MSG) and excess lead in a sample of its hugely popular Maggi noodles.

“The department took exception that Maggi was largely consumed by children and Nestlé’s advertisements aimed at popularizing Maggi among children,” said a government official at the food ministry.

Nestlé said it was “disappointed with the unprecedented step” of filing of the complaint, and reiterated it does not add MSG into Maggi.